“Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some...
April 6, 2016
Today I was teaching a student and she literally looked like she was going to fall asleep during an exercise. I was not insulted, I knew she was exhau...
Sleep Where you Can
April 6, 2016
Although I adore seeing and working with students in person, I love working via Skype. It is efficient for everyone, especially students who have hom...
The Mute, or The Art of Listening
April 11, 2016
May 2, 2016
What if the feeling of anxiety were not necessarily something to be avoided and muted, but rather a radical insight into our authentic creativity? Maybe anxiety is the breadcrumb that leads us home. As we step closer toward our true self, we are likely to encounter feelings of anxiety.
“Anxiety is the dizziness of Freedom”-Soren Kierkegaard
What is more terrifying than staring our potential in the eye, and feeling it within our grasp? What could possibly be more liberating than to bundle up the courage to move closer to that pure self, the self not viewed through the lens of another’s interpretation? It is when we abandon this authentic internal voice that the guilt of an unrealized self imperative begins to fester and anxiety is born.
“We can understand Kierkegaard’s ideas on the relation between guilt and anxiety only by emphasizing that he is always speaking of anxiety in its relation to creativity. Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self, as well as creating in all the innumerable daily activities (and these are two phases of the same process) — one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever. Now creating, actualizing one’s possibilities, always involves negative as well as positive aspects. It always involves destroying the status quo, destroying old patterns within oneself, progressively destroying what one has clung to from childhood on, and creating new and original forms and ways of living. If one does not do this, one is refusing to grow, refusing to avail himself of his possibilities; one is shirking his responsibility to himself. Hence refusal to actualize one’s possibilities brings guilt toward one’s self. But creating also means destroying the status quo of one’s environment, breaking the old forms; it means producing something new and original in human relations as well as in cultural forms (e.g., the creativity of the artist). Thus every experience of creativity has its potentiality of aggression or denial toward other persons in one’s environment or established patterns within one’s self. To put the matter figuratively, in every experience of creativity something in the past is killed that something new in the present may be born. Hence, for Kierkegaard, guilt feeling is always a concomitant of anxiety: both are aspects of experiencing and actualizing possibility. The more creative the person, he held, the more anxiety and guilt are potentially present.”